CNTs reinforced metal composites has great potential due to their superior properties, such as light weight, high strength, low thermal expansion and high thermal conductivity. The current strengthening mechanisms of CNT/metal composite mainly rely on CNTs' interaction with dislocations and CNT's intrinsic high strength. Here we demonstrated that laser shock loading the CNT/metal composite results in high density nanotwins, stacking fault, dislocation around the CNT/metal interface. The composites exhibit enhanced strength with excellent stability. The results are interpreted by both molecular dynamics simulation and experiments. It is found the shock wave interaction with CNTs induces a stress field, much higher than the applied shock pressure, surrounding the CNT/metal interface. As a result, nanotwins were nucleated under a shock pressure much lower than the critical values to generate twins in metals. This hybrid unique nanostructure not only enhances the strength, but also stabilize the strength, as the nanotwin boundaries around the CNTs help pin the dislocation movement.
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